Nick Lewin, co-founder of the firm, is an accomplished trial and appellate lawyer and counsellor. He represents clients – domestically and abroad – in high-stakes U.S. and cross-border regulatory and criminal enforcement actions, investigations, and complex commercial litigation.
Nick has counseled and represented corporate and individual clients in significant and high-profile matters involving allegations of securities and financial frauds, money laundering, foreign interference in U.S. elections, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
Nick co-founded the firm after serving for more than a decade as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice and a senior FBI official — including as the Special Counsel to former FBI Directors Robert S. Mueller III and James B. Comey, and then as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Nick has conducted the jury trial of a dozen federal cases, including some of the country’s most complex and significant national security trials. Nick also has briefed and argued multiple appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Nick served for more than a decade as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. During his tenure, Nick investigated and prosecuted among the most important national security cases in the United States since 9/11. He served as trial counsel in United States of America v. Usama bin Laden et al., and conducted the jury trials of:
- The senior-most al Qaeda leader prosecuted in any court, Usama bin Laden’s son-in-law (U.S. v. Sulaiman Abu Ghayth);
- The founding al Qaeda member who led its terrorist training camp in Afghanistan and its cell in East Africa (U.S. v. Khalid al Fawwaz); and
- The only former Guantánamo Bay and CIA black site detainee to be transferred to federal court, where he was tried for his role in the August 7, 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (U.S. v. Ahmad Ghailani).
Nick also helped lead the investigations into a variety of extremely sensitive cases, including: the theft and leak of highly-classified CIA cyber-operations information; the investigation and prosecution of a private banker involved in an international bank fraud; one of the first national security cyber cases brought in the SDNY; the September 2016 bombings in New York and New Jersey; and the apprehension and prosecution of one of the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists, who was captured abroad in a coordinated operation conducted by U.S. Special Operations Forces. He was also responsible for leading myriad other classified investigations involving espionage, counterintelligence, FARA, sanctions violations, international bank fraud, money laundering, and cybercrime.
As Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, Nick was responsible for the supervision of multiple units in the Criminal Division, and helped oversee a variety of criminal and national security investigations. He also served as the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s coordinator for international and cross-border investigations.
Nick also served as the Special Counsel for former FBI Directors Robert S. Mueller, III and James B. Comey. In that capacity, Nick acted as each Director’s national security advisor on policy, strategic, legal and operational issues. He regularly represented the FBI at executive-level White House National Security Council meetings, and prepared the Director, Attorney General and other senior FBI and Justice Department executives for testimony before Congress.
In 2009, Nick served as a member of the interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force, which was established by President Obama to assess, among other things, which Guantánamo Bay detainees could feasibly be prosecuted in an Article III court.
Nick has received awards and recognitions from foreign governments as well as from various agencies in the U.S. government, including: the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense’s Joint Special Operations Command, and the Department of Justice, including twice winning the Director’s Award for superior litigation, as well as the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award – the Justice Department’s second-highest honor.
Nick has lectured at universities and law schools, including the United States Military Academy at West Point, NYU School of Law and Columbia Law School, and served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he taught the Federal Criminal Litigation seminar.
Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nick practiced at Lankler Siffert & Wohl LLP, where he represented clients in civil and criminal litigation, including obtaining summary judgment in favor of a consortium of major banks in litigation regarding a $2 billion credit facility.
Nick served as a law clerk to the Honorable Dennis Jacobs, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Honorable Charles S. Haight, Jr., Senior U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Prior to law school, Nick was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow, and worked in the U.S. Department of Justice, and as an Associate Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.
+ REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS
- Former employee of public relations firm in a high-profile investigation of potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) related to the Ukraine.
- The CFO of a multinational sports agency in a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into corruption in college sports.
- Former executive of major technology company in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and DOJ investigation into disclosures regarding state-sponsored cyber breach.
- Europe-based firm in connection with DOJ inquiries regarding FARA registration.
- The Chairman of a major international company in parallel internal, DOJ and Manhattan District Attorney’s Office investigations.
- A former bank executive in a securities fraud and wire fraud prosecution charged by the DOJ.
- Individual charged by the DOJ with bank fraud in connection with his ownership of an international company.
- Multinational law firm in connection with DOJ inquiries regarding FARA registration.
- Prominent individual in Special Counsel’s Office investigation into potential Russian interference in the 2016 election.
- A European technology company in a DOJ investigation into criminal offenses, including money laundering.
- Executive of Turkish company in DOJ investigation and parallel civil actions.
- Former senior executive of one of Brazil’s largest companies in cross-border FIFA investigation.
- Brazil-based executive of North American company in high-profile cross-border corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation.
- Global law firm in various matters related to FARA.
- U.K.-based public relations and crisis management firm related to FARA.
- European technology company in conducting internal investigation related to an ongoing DOJ investigation.
- Chairman of multinational company in internal investigation, related to high-profile ongoing Manhattan DA’s office and DOJ investigation.
- Political action committee regarding cyber policies and procedures.
Complex Commercial Litigation
- Manufacturing company in successful trade-dress suit filed in the Eastern District of New York.
- Real estate executive in matter involving civil litigation related to a major development in Manhattan.
- Individual in high profile civil litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
+ PUBLICATIONS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
- “Three Common Misperceptions About FARA”; PRWeek, Apr. 3, 2019
- “Debunking FARA Myths (and Why Lawyers Should Be Paying Attention),” New York Law Journal, Jan. 21, 2019
- “Cross Border Anti-Corruption Regulation and Enforcement” (Panel Hosted by Pinheiro Guimarães, São Paulo, Brazil, Dec. 7, 2018)
- “Justice in Our Time: Faster and Fairer Solutions to the Military Commissions at Guantánamo Bay” (New York City Bar Association, May 8, 2018)
J.D., Yale Law School
M.P.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.A., Binghamton University (SUNY)
Hon. Dennis Jacobs, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Hon. Charles S. Haight, Jr., U.S. District Judge, SDNY
Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, SDNY
Deputy Chief, Criminal Division
Special Counsel to FBI Directors Robert S. Mueller III and James B. Comey
Guantánamo Detainee Review Task Force
Associate Director, White House Council on Youth Violence
Presidential Management Fellow, U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. District Court, SDNY
U.S. District Court, EDNY
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit